Perfect Oven Roasted Potatoes

To be crispy, to be fluffy, that is the question. How to make a potato both crispy and fluffy at the same time? My perfect oven roasted potato recipe will tell you how to roast the perfect potato Every. Single. Time.

Finding the method to roast a potato perfectly was very important to me. My daddy is a potato-holic. He needs potatoes with every meal. You heard me. Needs.

Being Southern, he often turned to the good ole fattening mashed potato. So while I lived at home and often cooked dinner, I wanted to find a healthier alternative for this picky eater. And my oven roasted potatoes did the trick.

While I kept trying to find out how to get them crispy but also done on the inside, I went through many pans of half baked potatoes (yuck) to soggy ones (even yuckier).

FINALLY. I found the solution. Par-cooked then roasted. It left me with the fluffiest tender inside and the crispiest outside. And my daddy loved them! I hope you will too!

What I love about this recipe is it works for any type of potato and you can alter the seasonings based on the meal! When I make Italian chicken, I mix pesto and parmesan with them. When I make Mexican, I use a blend of cumin and chili powder. The following recipe is my simple, every meal roasted potato! So let’s get to business.

OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

What you will need:

  • About 4 medium-large sized red potatoes (diced into about 1″ cubes)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dry seasonings:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Wash and dry your potatoes and then dice them into 1″ cubes (try to get them all around the same size so they will cook evenly).

Place them in a large microwaveable bowl and cover with salt (not included in dry seasonings above; this is just for par-cooking).

Fill bowl with water until about 1″ of water is above the potatoes. Microwave for 10 minutes.

Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil. Once the potatoes are finished, drain the water and return to large bowl.

Add olive oil and dry seasonings and mix thoroughly. Spread out onto baking pan so that each potato has it’s own room (they’re claustrophobic).

Bake for 25-30 minutes until desired color is reached! (It helps to stir around about half way through so that every side is evenly cooked).

Once finished, try not to eat all of them before your family gets some!

I love to serve these potatoes with chicken, salmon, ice cream, whatever really that gives me an excuse to make them.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Happy homemaking!

Top 10 Dried Spices to Own for your Home Kitchen

When starting out the adventure of home-cooking, you may wonder what kitchen basics you need to own in terms of spices. The following list is what I think is a great place to start in what dried spices your kitchen needs!

So when I first started home cooking, there were a lot of recipes that had spices I didn’t own yet. Because some spices can be expensive, I questioned which spices were actually worth buying and owning in my home.

I took many risks and bought spices that I never used and bought some that I use constantly! One thing this home will never produce is a tasteless, spiceless meal. So I use dried spices very often, and pretty much have to buy new ones every other week (I cook at home a lot).

So this list of dried spices is what I use almost on a daily, if not weekly basis when I cook at home. They are what I consider a great starting place for your kitchen spices and then you can get more adventurous from there!

1. Garlic Powder: This is my favorite and literally can be used with any type of cuisine that you are cooking! Whether it is Asian, Mexican, or Italian, garlic powder adds another layer of flavor that makes your home cooking that much better! This is a must have for your kitchen and totally worth spending money on!

2. Onion Powder: This goes along with garlic powder for almost every meal! The only time I would not use this is if I was making a dish that already has tons of onion or dried minced onion in it (you don’t want to over do it with the onion flavor). But this is definitely a necessity for your kitchen.

3. Paprika: There are tons of different paprika out there to buy; sweet, smoked, spicy… there is also just a basic paprika for your kitchen and that is what I usually buy. I use paprika alongside garlic and onion powder for just another layer of flavor and it usually adds such a pretty color to your meals! Definitely a must have.

4. Celery Powder/Celery Salt: Okay so this is one of my favorite spices I have recently found! It gives your food a deep, savory flavor of celery that adds celery to dishes you haven’t put it in or strengthens the celery flavor in dishes where there already is celery. It is a robust flavor that just makes your meals feel rich and delicious. I love this in pot roasts, soups, and pretty much everything!

5. Cumin: Okay so have you ever tasted taco meat and wondered what that major flavor is? That’s cumin! This smoky spice is perfect for Mexican style dishes, chilis, and smoky dishes like bbq. I love to even sprinkle a little of this over some fried eggs and breakfast goes up lik 10 more levels! This is a staple because many recipes call for this spice and it’s delicious! So I definitely recommend buying this one!

6. Chili Powder: This is a robust, and deep flavor necessary for many dishes! I use chili powder alongside cumin many times in my chilis or Mexican inspired dishes! I also use it when I want a hint of smoky spice without going as far as adding red pepper flakes or cayenne. I have a maple smoked bacon recipe where I use chili powder, ground pepper and maple syrup and bake THE most delicious bacon ever! This spice is a staple because it adds a great flavor to many dishes, and you’ll find many recipes call for chili powder! I definitely recommend!

7. Italian Seasoning: I love Italian Seasoning! It’s a mix of some delicious flavors like basil, oregano, and thyme. It’s perfect to add to grilled chicken, soups, spaghettis, and on top of pizzas to take them to the next level! It’s a great place to start in buying seasonings that take your food to the next level!

8. Dill Weed: THIS is my favorite! I was introduced to dill when I was introduced to Russian cuisine (my best friend’s mama is the best cook btw). Dill is what you think, the flavor in pickles, that is just so unique but so tasty! I love to put dill in chicken soups, on top of fish, and in sauces! A little goes a long way that’s for sure! One of my favorite stuffed bell pepper recipes calls for tons of dill and it is so delicious! This is a definitely a kitchen staple for me!

9. Dried Basil: Fresh basil is delicious! However, dried basil also brings a depth of flavor to your meals! I love to use basil in my tomato soups, Italian cooking, and spaghetti! When I am feeling fancy, I sometimes sprinkle some basil over my cold cut sandwiches, just to add some delicious flavor! This is used in many dishes and definitely worth having in your kitchen.

10. Cayenne Pepper/Red Pepper: So if you love a little kick to your meals, this is the spice for you. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! Funny story, I bought “red pepper” which is another name for cayenne and I didn’t know it. Put a ton of it in a recipe and had no clue as to why my tongue was burning; the culprit? Cayenne. So definitely use with care but cayenne adds a smoky, rich spice to your dishes and is great for the adventurous palette that loves spice! I use it in my chilis, soups, meats, and pretty much anything I want to add a little heat to! Definitely a must have in your kitchen.

So there’s my list of 10 Dried Spices to have in Your Home Cooking Kitchen! I own so many more of course, but these will get you started and make your meals THAT much better!

I hope this helps any new starting home cookers or even those starting out in a new home wondering what spices to buy! Let me know what you think, and as always, Happy Homemaking!

Oven Baked BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Made this for dinner last night and my husband and I didn’t speak for 30 minutes. Not because we were angry. Because it was so delicious we literally could not stop eating it.

This oven baked bbq bacon cheddar chicken is everything you want in a family dinner dish. It’s easy to cook, easy to put together, and definitely easy to eat!

Even though it’s gluten free, you will feel a little guilty while eating it. You literally won’t be able to eat bbq chicken any other way!

BBQ BACON CHEDDAR CHICKEN

What you will need:

  • 1 lbs chicken breast or chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican shredded cheese)
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce (sweet baby rays is my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup diced bacon (freshly cooked or real bacon bits will work)
  • 3 stalks of green onion (topping)
  • Ranch dressing (drizzled for a topping; trust me)
  • Dry seasonings:

    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Slice about 4 chicken breasts in half and place in cast iron skillet [You can use a casserole dish too but I love using the skillet for this].

    Sprinkle dry seasonings over chicken so that each one is well coated. Then rub bbq sauce over chicken with rubber spatula or brush, making sure each one is well coated.

    Sprinkle cheese over the top and bacon bits. Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes [depending on how your oven cooks; ours was done around 25-26 minutes].

    Once finished, serve with chopped green onions and a drizzle of ranch!

    I served my bbq chicken with my delicious oven roasted potatoes and some southern green beans (which I will be sharing soon)! I hope y’all love it as much as my family does! Let me know what you think.

    Happy homemaking!!

    Top 10 Gluten Free Products to Buy at Costco

    When going gluten free, whether for health reasons or by choice, one of the hardest things is risking expensive purchases and not knowing if you will like it or not! So I am sharing some of my favorite Costco gluten free products that are so worth the money.

    If you have eaten the gluten free diet, whether by choice or by diagnosis, you have probably realized two things: 1. You pretty much have to cook everything, or 2. Buy pre-made gluten free products that are incredibly expensive.

    For me I have a slight gluten intolerance that has led me to the gluten free diet. And though I make ALOT of things from home, there are certain things that I would rather just purchase. However, when making a purchase of gluten free items, it’s always a shot in the dark whether it will be good or not. Sometimes gluten free products lack taste, texture, and the “I want more” aspect. You feel as though you are being punished rather than enjoying something to eat.

    So I have decided to share with you some of my favorite gluten free products you can buy at Costco! And if you don’t have a Costco membership, then you can order online I am sure!

    1. autumn’s gold grain free granola bars

    So these gluten free granola bars are absolutely freaking delicious!! Sometimes with gluten free granola bars you feel as though you are eating dried dirt; no flavor, the texture leaves you needing a gallon of water, and they are freaking expensive.

    My husband and I were walking around Costco and thank God they were giving out free samples of this bar because I never would have spent the money on it. Mainly because I have tried gluten free granola bars before and been pretty disappointed. BUT THESE. Autumn’s Gold Grain Free Granola Bars are literally the tastiest granola bars I have ever had, gluten free or not!

    They taste sort of like a cinnamon roll. YES. And their texture is heaven on Earth. I literally threatened my husband telling him not to eat all of them.

    So go try these out! Even if you don’t eat gluten free they are worth the buy!

    Autumns’s Gold Grain Free Cinnamon Almond (16Count/1.24 oz), 19.84 oz

    2. Milton’s cauliflower crust pizza

    Okay so listen. If you know me you know that I LOATHE cauliflower. It has a lot to do with a personal experience of seeing someone with “cauliflower ear” in middle school. But also the taste. I can’t help it.

    HOWEVER. Once again, free samples at Costco saved my life. I love frozen pizza. It saves us on busy days when we don’t have time or really don’t feel like cooking dinner. Often gluten free frozen pizzas are lacking in taste and texture. No one likes a soggy pizza.

    Milton’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza is to die for! I bought the kind that has veggie based sausage on it and it is so delicious you can’t even tell you’re not eating regular pizza OR regular meat. I believe there is also a roasted veggie and regular cheese version too! Get it, it’s delicious.

    3. harvest snaps green pea snack crisps

    Healthy. Delicious. SO FREAKING TASTY. I love these things. Honestly I bought these prior to eating gluten free and danced when I realized they were gluten free approved! They are so yummy and healthy and you can eat them without feeling like crap (like when you scarf down a whole bag of flaming hot Cheetos…).

    These are perfect for snack time, your kiddos, and even to blitz up and coat some chicken in! I love them so much. There are also tons of variety of flavors from wasabi ranch, sweet chili, and black pepper. I love them all. Just get them!

    Harvest Snaps Organic Calbee Lightly Salted Snapeas, 20 Ounce

    4. organic aussie bites

    Okay so disclaimer on these! They contain whole grain oats which is debatable on the gluten free issue. They ARE gluten free but you have to make sure with celiac disease whether or not the grains are processed in a facility that has also processed wheat products.

    Aussie bites do not claim to be gluten free for this purpose only. SO. If you are choosing gluten free for personal choice and not for celiac purposes then these are okay for you. If you have celiac disease then I would pass on these depending on your sensitivity!

    Okay so these babies are freaking yummy! They are healthy, have tons of delicious ingredients, and they are so easy to grab on the go for a snack or quick breakfast. Full of flavor, they have things like coconut, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and honey!

    To me they taste similar to like an oatmeal raisin cookie! I definitely recommend you try these!

    Universal Bakery Expect More Organic Aussie Bites, 32 count

    5. moon cheese

    If you love snacks like cheez-its or any kind of cheese type cracker that is not out-of-bounds, these are perfect for you.

    They are literally made with cheese. That’s it.

    Super cheesy. Super tasty. Highly recommended!

    Even if you’re not gluten free these are just a healthier option over some of the other processed choices. PLUS your kids will love them.

    Moon Cheese – 100% Natural Cheese Snack – Cheddar – 10 oz – 2 Pack

    6. Birch benders gluten free pancake & Waffle mix

    Oh delicious warm, fluffy, steaming, pancakes. They are so warming and comforting. When I went gluten free I was very sad over losing my relationship with pancakes.

    Birch Benders has stepped in to save the day. Their gluten free pancake and waffle mix is perfection. AND you only have to add water (not 15 eggs, you first born son, and a mortgage). Sometimes gluten free mixes need everything but your kitchen sink which can get expensive and tiring.

    For the gluten free, keto, or paleo dieter, I highly recommend this brand!

    Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix by Birch Benders, Low-Carb, High Protein, High Fiber, Gluten-free, Low Glycemic, Prebiotic, Keto-Friendly, Made with Cassava, Coconut & Almond Flour, 12 oz

    7. Kirkland brands maple syrup

    To go with your Birch Bender’s pancakes, Kirkland’s maple syrup is sooooo good. One thing many don’t know when starting the gluten free diet is that most maple syrups are a no-go.

    Brands like Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, and so many others often have hidden gluten ingredients (make sure to check all of your labels).

    So you have to buy organic, 100% pure maple syrups (which I have found are expensive and in very small bottles *rolls eyes*).

    Costco’s Kirkland Brand of Maple Syrup is organic and gluten free and not too expensive. You get tons of product and it’s so delicious!

    Kirkland Signature 100% Maple Syrup, Dark Amber, 33.8 fl. oz.

    8. Kirkland’s chicken stock

    Another shocker for the new gluten free eater is that MOST chicken, beef, veggie broths have hidden gluten in them as a thickener! With the upcoming holiday seasons, most recipes need some form of broth!

    Costco’s Chicken stock is certified gluten free AND you get sick of them! This is one of my favorite finds recently that has me so excited! I can get tons of product for a great price and not have to worry about hidden ingredients!

    Definitely recommend!

    Kirkland Signature Organic Gluten-Free Chicken Stock Reasealable Cartons: 6-Count (32 fl oz.)

    9. Udi’s gluten free bread

    If you’re gluten free then you know Udi’s brand I am sure! I have found for ANY gluten free bread, a tip is to always toast! It makes it soooo much better and feels like you are eating fancy bread rather than wheatless bread.

    I love Udi’s brand and found out that you can get a two-pack of the multigrain type at Costco! This is so awesome because gluten free breads don’t have as much of the product as it’s counterpart so you often have to buy more than one. I buy a two-pack and then put one in my freezer and I am good for a couple of weeks!

    I am so happy to see more gluten free products making the shelves and this is one of my favorites.

    Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, Whole Grain Bread, 12 Ounce

    10. Tipiaks 36-count French macarons

    Saved desert for last. Oh my goodness. When I found out macarons are gluten free naturally, I was so excited. However, these babies are expensive! But Costco has a 36-count French macaron set that are so delicious and run about $15.00.

    They are all delicious but my favorites were the pistachio and milk chocolate ones. These are perfect for a sweet snack at the end of your day, to put out at a baby shower or party, or to even gift to the person you know eating gluten free!

    I love them so much! Y’all definitely need to give them a try.

    French Macarons Mixed 36 pcs

    SO that is my list of TOP 10 GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS at Costco! Everyone I would personally recommend and have in my kitchen right now! Let me know if you have any more you have found so I can get in on that too!

    Homemade Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Gluten Free)

    For football and holiday parties season, I am always looking for delicious recipes that are easy to make, loving to my budget, and most importantly, DELICIOUS. I finally found my perfect fresh salsa that is a game changer!

    pineapple salsa

    One thing you will learn about me is I love sweet and spicy foods! I stumbled upon this recipe from a usual happenstance; a family party, needing to bring a food item, struggling in the bank, and going to my kitchen to piece together something that’s cheap, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

    This fresh pineapple salsa recipe is now a staple in my kitchen, my family parties, and my life! I no longer even can tolerate the thought of buying store bought salsa when I have this recipe at my fingertips!

    My husband is obsessed, my sister steals the leftovers, and I can’t get enough! What’s also great about this salsa recipe is that like so many other fine things in life, it gets better with age! I love to have this salsa as a healthy snack (with some delicious tortilla chips), paired alongside some homemade quesadillas, or with my easy burrito casserole (which I will be posting soon so stay posted!)

    Enough talk about this salsa, it’s time to hurry and try it so you can truly begin living!

    Fresh Pineapple Salsa Recipe

    What you will need:

    •  20 oz can of pineapples (chunk or whole it doesn’t matter)
    •  4 oz can of diced green chilis
    •  14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
    •  1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp diced pickled jalapenos
    • 1 tbsp red chili paste
    • 1/2 orange bell peppers
    • 1/2 red onion
    •  1/4 cup cilantro (fresh)

    Dry Seasonings for salsa:

    •  3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin (dried)

    Directions for Salsa Recipe:

    For this recipe I use my countertop sized food processor that makes cooking so much easier! It’s quickly put together, you just press the lid to pulse, and it’s easy cleanup!

    Drain the can of pineapples and tomatoes and pulse together in the food processor. When desired consistency is met (I like my salsa very smooth), then remove mixture and place in a bowl and set aside.

    Roughly chop bell peppers, onion, and cilantro and place in food processor. Add minced garlic, red chili paste, jalapenos, and green chilis. Pulse together until smooth and then add to tomato and pineapple mixture!

    Stir well, add in all of the dry seasonings, and serve!

    You can eat right away (if you can’t wait) or it tastes best when refridgerated for about 24 hours! The longer it sits, the more delicious it gets!

    I hope you find this fresh pineapple salsa recipe easy, delicious, and a new staple in your homes as well! Let me know what you think, and as usual, Happy Homemaking!!!

    Stylish and Eye Catching Pioneer Woman 3 Cup Stack & Press Glass Bowl Chopper Fiona Floral,Speeds up Food Prep by Taking Care of the Chopping,Mincing and Mixing for You

    Crockpot vs Instant Pot: What’s the Deal?

    Definitely a question I have been asked before: what’s better? The crockpot or the instant pot? Let’s talk about pros, cons, and truths!

    Me posing with my loves….

    Okay, so the picture may be having you question some things about me. But to help clear up any confusion, I have posed with my crockpot and instant pot for one reason: THEY ARE MY LIFE.

    To compare the two would be akin to comparing your children: you love them both equally, for different reasons! So this post is not so much why you should purchase or own a crock pot versus an instant pot, but really my argument as to why BOTH are necessary for the modern homemaking mama!

    Crock pot

    Let’s start with O’ Faithful, the crock pot. So surely you have one of these in your home (whether it gets used or not). They are often a staple for the bridal shower or home warming part because so many have seen the benefits of having one. They are pretty affordable, even for the budgeter, which makes it definitely a must have kitchen tool. If you don’t have one, I am holding my Pioneer Woman crock pot which I LOVE because they have so many different prints to choose from. But all crockpots are awesome and totally worth investing in.

    But let’s talk about practicality. The crockpot opens soooo many doors for your home-cooking and is perfect for the busy stay-at-home mama or working mama. Whether you stay home or are working, finding the time to get dinner planned and cooked is always tough on these hectic days of doing every day tasks and taking care of your family. With the crock pot you can make so many delicious recipes, from overnight breakfast oats, slow-cooked pot roasts, and even decadent deserts! The crockpot is ideal for the working mama who can put the meal in during the morning rush and come home to a hot, finished meal!

    Some of my favorite crock pot meals are classic pot roast, chili, vegetable soup, and French dip sandwiches! I don’t know what it is, but there is just something so satisfying about a crock pot meal; they are so warm and cozy, it just makes you feel at home and comforted!

    So, all of this to say. Get a crockpot or start putting the one hiding in your cabinet in the box to use! They make your life so much easier.

    Hamilton Beach 8-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker With Digital Timer, Dishwasher-Safe Crock & Lid, Silver (33480)

    Instant pot

    Here’s the thing. When I first heard of the instant pot, I rolled my eyes thinking, oh great another fad to spend money on that I will use once and then it will collect dust in the cabinet (like the air fryer for me). Everyone at my job was raving about it and honestly I was too timid to try it.

    However, Pioneer Woman came out with an instant pot which peaked my curiosity (because I want to own everything she makes; I know I have a problem, pray for my husband). So I asked for one for Christmas and thus, my cooking truly life began.

    After being afraid of using the instant pot (due to scary stories posted on social media) I finally took the step to try my first intant pot recipe! I tried an Instant Pot Cubed Steak recipe that was so quick and delicious it blew my mind and changed my life forever!

    So the instant pot is pretty much a pressure cooking tool that also has soooo many different uses! There is actually a slow cooking mode on it that allows it to act like a crock pot if you need it to! But what would take the crock pot 8 hours to make, your instant pot can cook in 1 hour (yes you read that correctly).

    It makes your meal taste as though it has been cooking all day, and yet some recipes take only around 10 minutes (like my gluten free tomato soup you can find in my recipes). Not only can it cook meals quickly, but you can make hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes, cook baked potatoes in 10 minutes, and even fully cook chicken and pork in 12 minutes!

    I mean, it is definitely worth investing in (even though it can seem pricey to some). It made my life so much easier as a wife, mama, and full-time student when I was getting my master’s degree.

    Get you an instant pot, I promise it is worth it!

    Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

    crock pot vs. instant pot

    My final statement is that there is no versus between the two there is only that the crock pot and the instant pot are necessary for the modern day homemaking mama.

    I use my crockpot when I have a busy afternoon planned (because you still have kitchen prep with the instant pot) and I use my instant pot when I want a delicious meal cooked in such a little time (or I forgot to plan or start a dinner that takes too long to cook).

    Stop letting busy days and no time lead you to fast food meals and spending way too much money on eating out (this was our life before), and start using tools that make your life easier and also makes your home feel a little more like home with delicious home-cooked meals and dinners around the table.

    Let me know what you think, some of your favorite crock pot and instant pot meals, and most of all: Happy homemaking!

    Egg Roll in a Bowl (Gluten Free)

    Y’ALL. This recipe is a game changer for me! I love Asian food; Chinese, Japanese, you name it, it’s my favorite food. However, when I went gluten free I felt like I lost the opportunity to just go to the Chinese restaurant and get what I want. So I had to learn how to make it at home (which those recipes will come soon). However, I have yet to attempt a gluten free egg roll because… how? So! This recipe is perfect for a gluten free, low carb lunch that reminds you of those delicious egg rolls (that sometimes are just a tad too greasy)! It’s also super easy and customizable to whatever your taste is! I found this recipe and made it my own and I’m so excited to share it with you. Let’s get to it!

    Egg Roll in a Bowl

    What you will need:

    • 1 lbs ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken) (my favorite is chicken)
    • 1 package of slaw mix
    • 2 stalks of celery (diced)
    • 5 stalks of green onion (3 diced for mixture, 2 for topping)
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Gluten Free)
    • 1 tbsp red chili paste or siracha (add more or less depending on your spice level)
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • sesame seeds (for topping, optional)

    Dry Seasonings:

    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ginger (dried or sub 1 tbsp fresh ginger)
    • 1/4 tsp allspice (optional but super delicious)
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder

    Directions:

    In a soup pan or deep sauté pan, heat sesame and vegetable oil to medium-high heat. Toss in diced celery, green onion, and minced garlic and stir. Then toss in minced meat of choice, chopping up finely with spatula to make it very fine. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add in slaw mix and stir. Then add the following: soy sauce, red chili paste, honey, rice wine vinegar, and all dry seasonings. Stir well and cook until the cabbage in the slaw mix is cooked down and softened! When done, put in a bowl and top with dice green onions and sesame seeds! 

    Total cook time takes about 25 minutes of prep and cooking! It’s so fast and easy, and most importantly super delicious. 

    I hope you enjoy this recipe! Comment with your thoughts and pictures and let me know how it went! Love you guys and happy homemaking! 

    Skillet Meatloaf (Gluten Free)

    When you hear meatloaf, you either think yummmm or yuckkk! Meatloaf has a bad rep okay, for being a gross, dry, flavorless mound of meat. Doesn’t sound very appetizing. But as the goal of remaking homemaking, meatloaf needs to be remade! It is the perfect medium for all kinds of flavors! You can customize your meatloaf for whatever flavor style you like whether that’s traditional, bbq, Mexican style, etc.


    This recipe I am posting today is my traditional meatloaf recipe that I have worked on for years to perfect! After making it in a traditional meatloaf pan (which is an option for you if you do not have a cast iron skillet), I realized my favorite pieces were on the end, where most of it was crispy and delicious! So one day I looked at my cast iron skillet and figured, let’s try it! Turns out it’s the perfect pan to capitalize on the crispiest, juiciest slice of meatloaf! 


    **Side note before we get started – a cast iron skillet in my opinion is a kitchen staple piece. If you do not have one, I urge you to get you one today! I will post another blog about caring for your cast iron skillet in the right way! 

    Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.


    Let’s do this! 

    Skillet meatloaf (GF)

    What you need:

    • 1 lbs ground beef (Grass fed is the best for us)
    • 1/2 lbs ground sausage (optional)
    • 1/2 onion (diced)
    • 1/2 bell pepper (diced)
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 3 eggs (*2 eggs if not doing GF recipe)
    • **1 cup of breadcrumbs (I make my own GF ones – scroll down to see how below)
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 cup ketchup (1/4 cup for mixture and 1/4 for topping

    Dry Seasonings:

    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp dried minced onion
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp paprika

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375 F. 

    In a bigger mixing bowl, add in diced onion, bell pepper, ground beef, ground sausage, minced garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup of ketchup (I do not sauté my veg prior to mixing because I like a little bite to mine in the meatloaf! It will soften but you’ll know it’s there).

    Then add in all of the dry seasonings and stir well! You can use a spoon but the best way to stir a meatloaf is to use the utensils God gave you, those hands (take off any rings because it gets messy).  

    Get your cast iron skillet and spray or coat with oil (I prefer to use spray coconut oil). Then turn your meatloaf mixture into the pan and smooth down to an even mixture across the skillet. Take the remainder of your ketchup and smooth over the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 35 minutes on middle rack, then move to the top of the oven and broil for 5-8 minutes (for your desired color). 

    **Disclaimer: If you do choose to use ground sausage, you may see fat forming on the top of the meatloaf. I just take it with the ketchup and smooth it around the top before broiling. After broiling if there is still visible fat, just smooth again and drizzle a little extra ketchup over top for a better look! You shouldn’t have this issue if you omit the sausage. 

    I served with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies! The good thing about meatloaf is you can pack tons of vegetables in it and kids love it (because it has ketchup of course). Not to mention it is a homemade meal that makes you feel at home, and that’s our goal as homemakers! Let me know what you think and post comments and pics below! Happy homemaking!!

    ***How to make GF breadcrumbs

    So I just took about 3-4 pieces of my GF bread and diced it up. I put some oil in the skillet and broiled them in the oven (mixing around every 2 minutes) for about 10 minutes. Once all toasty, I blitz in my food processor and added to the meatloaf mixture! 

    Homemade Tomato Soup (GF)

    Finally! It is fall time and we can stuff ourselves with all of the soups. All of them. If you’re gluten free, it is hard to find affordable soups that don’t have gluten in them! And if you can, a lot of the time they are so bland and tasteless! If you’re not gluten free, you probably don’t want all those soups that are high on sodium and preservatives. And let’s be real, organic food is soooo expensive.

    I am gung-ho on yummy food that is also easy AND most importantly, affordable! So this recipe is one for you! It’s delicious, warm, filling, delicious, easy, and did I mention delicious? Now, I made this soup in my instant-pot (Pioneer woman because I’m obsessed), so if you do not have one I seriously urge you to invest in one! It is worth every dime! But if you still want to make this recipe just do it on the stove top in a deep pot! I will attach a link to the instant-pot I have, it’s so amazing. I’m just saying. 

    Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

    So here it goes! 

    Homemade Tomato Soup

    What you will need:

    • 3 cans of diced tomatoes
    • 2 roma tomatoes (diced)
    • 1/2 onion (diced) (Vidalia is my favorite but you can use any kind)
    • 2 stalks of celery (diced)
    • 1/2 roasted red pepper (diced) (I use canned, it’s delicious)
    • 1 tbsp pesto (trust me, it adds THE best flavor)
    • 2 cups of chicken broth (if GF, make sure you get GF broth)
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 tbsp kethup (again, trust me)
    • 1 tbsp butter

    Dry Seasonings:

    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper (I use restaurant grind)
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp celery salt
    • 2 tsp basil (dried)
    • 1 tbsp granulated sugar or honey

    Directions:

    Set your instant pot to sauté mode and add 1 tbsp of butter (I prefer to use butter over oil in soup so that it isn’t oily in your mouth!). Add in diced onion, celery, canned tomatoes, roma tomatoes, roasted red peppers and minced garlic. Stir around and let the veg get soft! Then add in 1 tbsp of pesto (if wanted) and stir around in softening vegetables. Add in chicken broth and all dry seasonings above.

    Put on the instant pot lid and MAKE SURE YOU TURN IT TO SEALING! If you do not seal then you won’t build pressure and the whole point is to get a soup that tastes like you’ve cooked it for hours when it’s only in the pot for 10 MINUTES… that’s right. 10 Minutes! Turn off the sauté mode and hit “Manual” for 10 minutes. It will take some time and make some noise as it builds pressure, and all you have to do is chill!

    When it’s done, do a quick release (be careful) and let all of the steam stop before attempting to open. Now for this next part you can either use an immersion blender or a counter top blender! But it is necessary for the best texture to blend the soup! When you open the instant pot, you will notice there are still chunks of veggies and it doesn’t quite look like tomato soup! Take the immersion blender and blend until desired texture is found! If you are using a countertop blender, you can ladle in portions of the soup until it is all blended and return to pot. Once blended, you will want to add milk and ketchup, stirring well! At this point it is your turn to taste and adjust according to your family’s taste buds (if you like more salt, add it here!).



    The best way to serve is with a grilled cheese with some sour cream and basil on top! If there is any left over, it is good for up to about 3 days!

    I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think! (Post pics too!)